Business in Brief: Edginess Over Trump Sends Shares Lower

IC Power begins IPO at $1.4 billion valuation | Kornit moves ahead with secondary offering | Companies fail to boost women directors | Africa Israel unit sells 4hotels for NIS 524m

U.S. President Donald Trump, Jan. 23, 2017.
Ron Sachs/Bloomberg

Edginess over Trump sends shares lower

Tel Aviv shares ended sharply down and the dollar weakened against the shekel to its lowest in six weeks on Monday amid global market nervousness over U.S. President Donald Trump. Wall Street was assuaged somewhat after the president assured U.S. business leaders, but investors remained on edge over his protectionist inauguration speech. The TA-25 and TA-100 indices both ended the day down 1% to 1,406.67 and 1,232.24 points, respectively, on turnover of 1.59 billion shekels ($420 million). In foreign currency trading, the dollar was down 0.3% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.7980 shekels, falling below 3.80 for the first time since December 8, amid global dollar weakness. The euro strengthened nearly 0.5% to 4.0763 shekels. The Tel Aviv market was particularly vulnerable to the Trump effect amid concerns about a crackdown on drug pricing as Perrigo dropped 2.6% to 277.50 shekels and Teva Pharmaceuticals lost 2.5% decline to 123.20. (Uri Tomer

IC Power begins IPO at $1.4 billion valuation

IC Power, a Latin American power company controlled by Kenon Holdings, began its initial public offering in New York on Monday, selling a 24.4% stake that could fetch up to $389 million. Kenon, the holding group controlled by Idan Ofer, said IC Power would be selling 25.9 million new shares at between $12 and $15 each, which values the company at $1.4 billion. Underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 3.9 million shares to settle over-allotments. The IPO not only gives a higher valuation to IC Power than on Kenon’s books but some of the proceeds will be used to repay some $145 million in debt to its parent company. IC Power said the rest of the proceeds would be used to develop greenfield projects and acquire companies in the electricity sector. IC Power’s shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ICP. Shares of Kenon ended 0.3% higher at 44.99 shekels ($11.86) in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabion)

Kornit moves ahead with secondary offering

After an 80% run-up in its shares over the last two months, Kornit Digital went ahead Monday with a $120 million secondary offering of shares. The maker of digital printers for the textile industry said it was selling seven million shares - two million of them new shares being offered by the company for $35 million and the rest by its largest shareholder, the private equity fund Fortissimo. Fortissimo, which acquired its stake in Fortissimo in 2011 for just $16 million, will be selling about a third of its holding in the offering, leaving it with 32%. Underwriters led by Barclays and Citigroup have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.05 million shares. Shares of Kornit, which got a boost after Amazon said on January 16 it was buying the company’s printers and would invest in the company, were down 7.6% to $16.40 early afternoon local time in New York. (Omri Zerachovitz)

Companies fail to boost women directors

“Companies with strong female leadership perform better,” Shmuel Hauser, chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, told a Knesset conference on Monday. But apparently companies themselves aren’t so convinced: Since a law barring single-sex boards of directors went into effect more than five years ago, the number of women directors has edged up to 21% of the total from 18%, Hauser said. He said ISA research found that women occupied only 13% of senior management jobs at publicly traded companies. He said the situation was unacceptable and urged lawmakers to adopt legislation like Europe’s that requires firms with less than 40% female boards to give preference to women directors in future appointments. (Shelly Appelberg and Zvi Zrahiya)

Africa Israel unit sells 4hotels for NIS 524m

Africa Hotels, a unit of Africa Israel Investments, has completed the sale of four hotels to the closely held Dayan group for a combined 524 million shekels ($138 million).  The properties, which make up the bulk of its hotel portfolio, include the Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv and Crowne Plaza Eilat as well as two other Eilat hotels, Be City and the La Playa Hotel. The Dayan family is also expected to close a deal on a fifth Africa hotel, the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in the next several months at an estimated price of 230 million shekels. The family had considered offering to buy Africa Hotel outright as part of a 3 billion-shekel debt bailout of Africa Israel, but the talks failed  Africa Israel said last week it expected to record net cash of 156 million shekels from the sale of all five hotels. Shares of Africa Israel ended up 5% at 61 agorot. (Michael Rochvarger)